As the world celebrated International Tiger Day on July 29, Nepal announced that it had doubled its wild tiger population since 2009, one of the greatest achievements in the effort for tiger conservation.
Tiger populations didn’t just grow overnight. This was due to conscious, dedicated efforts from Nepal. Tiger populations have been suffering from illegal poaching, not only for their furs but also for killing livestock and other conflicts with people. So, Nepal took it upon itself to partner with local communities to ensure the coexistence between tigers and people goes smoothly.
One of the many things Nepal did was to help replace livestock killed by tigers. They have also supported local communities that rely on firewood collected inside national tiger parks. As ZSL Nepal deputy country director and member of the technical committee informing the Nepal government’s report, Dr. Bhagawan Raj Dahal said: “Providing local people with a means of strengthening their income is key in helping to increase opportunities beyond the forest and protected areas where they are likely to run into large predators such as tigers.”
Nepal is a sign of hope for the tiger population and what’s in store for their future. On a day celebrating tigers, they showed us that coexistence is possible and achievable with a community-driven partnership between everyone.
Daniel Kim (July 2022)